• In Focus

    Battery strategy: Science and Technology Committee report

    The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the Science and Technology Committee’s report ‘Battery strategy goes flat: Net zero target at risk’ on 23 November 2022. This article provides an overview of the committee’s recommendations and the government’s response. It also summarises recent statements from the government on supporting battery production and development and the expansion of low-carbon technologies.

  • Research Briefing

    Energy Prices Bill 2022–23

    The Energy Prices Bill would enact several policies the government announced in September 2022 to reduce the cost of energy for consumers. The bill would put in place the ‘energy price guarantee’, which would limit the cost of electricity and gas per unit for domestic consumers. This was initially planned to run for two years, however on 17 October 2022 the government announced it would be reduced to six months. The bill is scheduled to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 19 October 2022.

  • In Focus

    Net zero and behaviour change

    The government has set a target for the UK to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Various groups and individuals have argued that behaviour change is essential to meeting this goal. The government has announced some policies aimed at progressing this; however, there has been criticism that its actions do not go far enough.

  • In Focus

    Cost of living: Impact on public wellbeing

    The rising cost of living has been associated with a reduction in wellbeing, including increased anxiety and worsening mental health. Charities and campaign groups have said the impact of increased costs has been worse for households already on lower incomes. Since becoming prime minister, Liz Truss has said the government’s priority is to increase economic growth while announcing at the same time an increase in government support for household energy bills. However, the opposition has said the government has not provided adequate support for households struggling with the rising cost of living.

  • Research Briefing

    Energy Bill [HL]: HL Bill 39 of 2022–23

    The government’s Energy Bill includes provisions relating to 26 separate energy-related measures. These are structured around three ‘key pillars’, listed as: leveraging investment in clean technologies; reforming the UK’s energy system and protecting consumers; and maintaining the safety, security and resilience of the energy systems across the UK. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the bill at second reading on 19 July 2022.

  • In Focus

    Energy (Oil and Gas) Profits Levy Bill

    The Energy (Oil and Gas) Profits Levy Bill would introduce a new temporary levy on North Sea oil and gas production. It follows a government announcement in late May 2022 that ministers would seek to impose a levy on companies operating in the North Sea to help fund support measures for households facing higher living costs. The House of Lords is expected to consider the bill at second reading and all remaining stages on 13 July 2022.

  • In Focus

    Net zero: The global energy sector

    In May 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published its energy roadmap which examined how the world can transition to a net zero energy system by 2050. It argued that although current climate pledges fall short of what is needed to meet this target, a viable pathway is still available. This article provides a summary of the IEA’s report and the UK government’s policy on net zero. It also considers the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the global energy sector.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Energy and climate change

    The Government has committed to reduce UK carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and improve the security of the UK’s energy supply. It has said it intends to improve strategic planning in the UK’s electricity and gas infrastructure through the establishment of an independent future system operator. It has also said it will introduce measures intended to increase the use of hydrogen gas and carbon capture technology in the UK energy sector.

  • In Focus

    Ukraine sanctions and the Swift system

    There has been extended debate on whether Russia should be banned from the international Swift system as part of the package of economic sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine. On 26 February 2022, the international community announced that selected Russian banks would be barred. This article looks at what Swift is, why it is significant and whether a ban would be likely to achieve its intended effect of restricting the Russian economy.

  • In Focus

    Draft Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy

    The Government has published draft updates for a range of energy-related national policy statements first introduced in 2011. The statements provide guidance for those involved in determining development applications for major infrastructure projects. The Government has said the updates focus on regulatory, policy and technology changes.

  • Research Briefing

    Rising Household Energy Costs and Consumer Protection

    Energy bills in the UK are predicted to rise considerably over the next year. This is due to issues that have increased wholesale energy costs and have subsequently put a number of energy suppliers out of business. This briefing outlines these issues and considers the potential impact of increasing energy bills on UK households and how the consumer protection regulatory regime has responded.

  • Research Briefing

    Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill

    The Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill is a government bill which completed all its stages in the House of Commons on 10 January 2022. It would introduce the regulated asset base (RAB) as a way of financing new nuclear power stations. Under a RAB, an economic regulator is given the power to levy a charge on consumers, the proceeds of which go towards financing the new infrastructure. At the time of writing, a date for second reading in the House of Lords has not been set.